Green shoots

When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.

Ernest Hemingway, A Movable Feast

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Come with me into the woods where spring is
advancing, as it does, no matter what,
not being singular or particular, but one
of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.

Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

Veterans of the last financial crisis will remember that Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, was always talking about seeing “green shoots.” For him, green shoots were signs within economic data that the country was starting to recover in some quarters.

This has become something of an inside joke for me, as I take the idea of green shoots rather literally. In the depths of the coronavirus puke (talking about financial markets here, not hospital data, after it became clear that our entire economy was going to shut down) I was so strung out thinking about the possibility of a second Great Depression that I planted over 1,000 new plants in my garden. It was… cathartic?

These were a combination of very young plants and bulbs that I ordered from the Netherlands. My logic was that by the time I was seeing green shoots around me (a few weeks if you live in a warm climate like Florida) there would be “green shoots” in the economy as well.

And here we are. After a few days of rain – including a full 24 hours of heavy, heavy rain – everything I planted is starting to poke up around me. My beds are full of green shoots. Meanwhile, the news is full of states publishing guidance on reopening their economies, as other western democracies are starting to do the same. It’s finally beginning to feel like springtime.

I just received another shipment of plants that I had ordered during my darkest nights keeping the futures vigil. This is rather humorous, too, as I could remember neither the site I had ordered all these plants from nor the plants I ordered.

Today I planted 4 ostrich ferns, 1 Thailand giant alocasia, 1 black metallic alocasia, 12 creeping red sedum, 12 golden sedum, 5 blue poppy anemone, 1 great gunnera (which I have since learned is actually an enormous species of rhubarb, I can’t even with the plant world sometimes), 6 cardinal caladium, 10 red spider lilies, 2 more oriental lilies, 25 double red freesia, and 9 four o’clocks.

I still need to add these plants to my gardening spreadsheet, but I am pretty sure I have surpassed 1,100 plants in my economic depression garden.

The month of May should be unreal around here. And since I am going to be turning 40 years old at the end of the month (shhhhh), this will have to double as a botanical birthday celebration. I going to leave my youth in style.

Speaking of birthdays, our bald eaglets are now 8 weeks old. (This picture was taken of them during a thunderstorm, so it’s not very flattering.) In anther 2-4 weeks, these guys will be proper fledglings!

2 thoughts on “Green shoots

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